When you’re on a shoot, it sometimes means thinking on your feet. In the photo above you can see our favorite daylight set-up. Here your light is positioned at around 10 or 11 o’clock if you were imaging the face of a clock. If you want your light to be soft but bright, like in the image of the watermelon granita below, you will need to diffuse the light. Just make sure you bounce some of that light into the front or your subject with reflectors. This is a really basic example of a natural light setup for food or products. You need to work out the yummy trinity exposure for the shot you’re taking in the lighting conditions you have. HELP: Food Photography Lighting Setup for a Beginner. TIP: Make sure when using off-camera lights to keep the light as close to your setup as possible; the closer the light is to your subject the softer the light will be. The more you take care to understand why you are getting the effect you are getting, the more it will come naturally to you to create images that make the most of your light. It also cuts down on the amount of light reaching your subject. It rarely looks good. One con of this setup is that you’ll likely have to use a tripod because the light is soft to the point of being too dark for handheld photography. AlienBees B800 flash unit with 7″ silver field reflector; white foam board. You can check out either one of those classes here. Artificial Lighting for Bloggers | Minimalist Baker Resources This will soften up your food photography lighting, creating feathered shadows and subtle highlights while still keeping beautiful contrast. When you are shooting outside in a vineyard, the sun is your light source. Basic light set ups can be used for food photography. Another con (the most obvious) is that you’re limited to shooting in daylight hours—once the sun is set, your light is gone. The shadows are soft, there are no hot spots, and the light is even across the scene. I love natural light, but it can be unpredictable and changeable. Great natural lighting is essential to achieving perfectly defined images. The front can look too dark and the back too bright. However, if you are shooting indoors by a window, as most of us food photographers do when working with natural light, then the source of your light is not actually the sun but the window. A simple guide to using artificial light for food photography (and other things!) You can also put your table so that the light falls somewhere in the upper left hand corner of your set. Since lighting, in my opinion, is the most important factor in successful food photography, I thought I’d start here! This doesn’t provide me with the consistency I need in my images. Ideally, you would set your white balance manually before a shoot, or take a shot with a grey card and adjust the white balance in post-production. When it comes to food photography, it is the least appealing light direction to work with. The great thing is that you don’t have to sacrifice quality when creating the light yourself. The umbrella soft light photography set is very light and comes with a storage bag. 'rmocx.RealPlayer G2 Control.1', But that’s not to say natural light isn’t ideal. It’s also important to note that fall off happens more quickly with natural light than with artificial light. I like to use inexpensive white foam board—you can find it at any craft store, and it adds a beautiful, soft fill light to … Sometimes certain situations call for more control over the lighting situation to either create consistency or specific effects. The point is though, my settings aren’t relevant to your photography. A larger, closer light source will give us softer shadows with softer transitions or gradations. This is where reflectors come in. It's best to photograph your dishes in diffused natural light. Technically speaking, in photography the light source depends on where you are shooting and how you are shooting. You can see this style of light used a lot in 80s food photography. Or sometimes the location I’m working in does not have suitable natural light. If you are working with glassware, you will likely need extra diffusion in order to manage reflection and glare. The good news is that one light is all you…, Action in still life photos is always eye-catching. These days, I rarely work with natural light, so it means that I have to set up my camera differently than I am used to. Place a reflector or bounce card on the opposite side to the light. In this article, I’ll walk you through four different lighting setups using both sunlight and strobes to show you that it’s possible to create a natural light look with artificial lights. Overall, the image isn’t too bad. I have a table set up against the window where I place my food and props, and I photograph the food with the light behind it so that it’s backlit. This is the best strobe modifier so far and closest to the natural light setup as I can achieve. There is no denying natural light has an amazing and beautiful quality, but that quality can be replicated with artificial light. The setup we used for natural light food photography. It would take some time to dig out the settings for each shot. Reflectors are no exception. Unless you are shooting landscapes, you can’t wait for the light to be perfect. To learn more, visit KelbyOne.com. As with front lighting, it can cause the image to look quite flat and isn’t always very flattering. There are so many variables that come into play. Backlighting is when you position your light behind the food. However, it’s difficult to create consistency with natural light because the sun is always moving. 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